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There may finally be some good news about the rate of Covid-19 cases. New numbers suggest those cases could be slowing locally and across California. The Lake County Health Department says while the figures are encouraging, there are lots of challenges ahead. Among them: the return of onsite learning at local schools and last weekend’s Lake County fair, both of which the department says could lead to more circulation of the virus. 79 Lake County residents have now died due to COVID-related illness – 16 since July 1. The health department says that shows how serious the situation is. Officials are again urging anyone not vaccinated to get a shot as soon as possible.

A man and two children are in the hospital after an explosion in Ukiah apparently caused by concentrated cannabis making gone wrong. Fire crews responded to a reported trailer fire at the Overnight trailer park on East Gobbi Street around 7:00 on Thursday evening. The three people who made it out of the trailer had significant burns and were airlifted to treatment centers out of the area. Their names and conditions haven’t been released because of the ongoing investigation by Ukiah PD and the Mendocino County Major Crimes task force.

Trucks carrying water are making their way to Mendocino County, but the supply they hold is just a drop in the bucket compared to what the county needs. The Press-Democrat reports that one truck carrying 5,000 gallons is making a couple trips a day to Ukiah and Fort Bragg. Officials say the county needs about 75,000 gallons a day. The county is working with water hauling companies but is having a hard time finding the right trucks. People in affected communities say the outside water will help them make it through. Meanwhile, Ukiah has started drawing water from the Russian River. The state has said yes to a plan to divert a small amount of river water to places that need it.

The Mendocino Water Agency has put out a new newsletter to communicate water and drought-related information. The newsletter also has news from the Mendocino Resource Conservation District, Russian River Flood Control District, and local water districts and jurisdictions. You can find it at the Waster Agency website. There is a link on the local news page of our website as well.
(https://mailchi.mp/mendocinocounty/mendocino-county-water-news-aug-18-2021)

The Mendocino Land Trust and several partner organizations are getting ready for next weekend’s Coastal Cleanup day. Volunteers will scour the shoreline at 14 coastal sites on September 18, picking up the flotsam and jetsam that have washed up. Coastal Cleanup Day is a statewide event organized by the California Coastal Commission. It has been held yearly since 1985. If you would like to get involved, you can find more info at the website Mendocinolandtrust.org.

A man in Covelo has been arrested in connection to the death and possible kidnapping of his cousin. Deputies got a call last Saturday morning about an assault and possible kidnapping with Christopher and William Bettega reported as the victims.  Deputies got a call on their way that one of the men was dead at the same time the Covelo Fire Department was called to an injured man in the road. Deputies were called to that scene, finding the man, William Bettega dead after being hit by a car. A car found nearby in a drainage had evidence inside which detectives used to get another search warrant at a home in Covelo. There they found Christopher Bettega, the dead man’s cousin may have been involved in his death and arrested him for murder. He’s held on one million dollars bail. The Sheriff’s office is asking anyone who may have seen anything to do with a White Chevy Silverado in that area last Saturday after midnight to call them.

They’ve called for more emergency responders and firefighters to be at the ready in the North Bay and parts of Northern Calif, as thunderstorms were predicted. The Sonoma County Fire District Chief said they’ve called in the troops for this “very high-impact.” The National Weather Service reported as many as two dozen lightning strikes already this morning in parts of Sonoma, Napa and Marin counties. Last night there were some strikes too in the area of last year’s Glass Fire in Santa Rosa. There was fire and lightning reported outside Hopland before midnight. The small fire was being called the Rock fire. There was also a report in Napa of a fire too. And light rain did mist down in some areas with possible measurable rain coming down. The forecast had fire managers concerned as the gigantic Dixie and Caldor fires which have both been burning for weeks continued.

The Town Manager in Windsor has resigned abruptly. Town councilors responded to Ken MacNab’s sudden announcement he was retiring for personal reasons, but he’s not leaving until the end of the year. Some saying he did a great job and it was not great timing as they just lost the mayor due to a scandal. McNab didn’t give detail, but said 2021 was extremely difficult in his personal life and that led him to consider the importance of health, family and a work-life balance. The town is trying to bounce back after the mayor Dominic Foppoli resigned after he was accused of rape, sexual assault or other misconduct by nine women, including a Windsor Councilwoman.

You’ve gotta be vaccinated or tested for COVID19 regularly if you want to attend Yuba Community College. The school board approved the new policy requiring vaccinations or regular testing for students, faculty, staff and volunteers yesterday after a 90 min meeting. The board gave the green light for the interim Chancellor to come up with a policy to be in place for the spring semester. This means the school will be one of nearly 40 across the state that have adopted vaccine mandates for students and staff. Other local districts, Mendocino-Lake Community College District is not mandating the same, but offering incentives for vaccinations.

A man accused of robbing a Chase Bank in Ukiah got ten years in prison. Chase Bank robber Dean Stevens pleaded no contest a couple weeks ago for the January 21st caper. He was sentenced yesterday for 120 months as bank robbery is considered a violent felony in Calif. That means work or good time credits for early release are limited to no more than 15% of the 10 year sentence.

Reports of bad bacteria in Clearlake has officials warning to stay out. The cyanobacteria produces possible health hazards to not only people, but also livestock and pets. The Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians conducts regular testing of the water with the help of the Robinson Rancheria EPA Department. Lake Co News reports the testing happens at more than a dozen sites. Extremely high levels detected in nine locations August 25th, one a liver toxin and the other a neurotoxin. The Lake County Public Health Dept. is asking boaters and other recreational lake users to avoid direct contact with or use of waters with the cyanobacteria where signs have been posted.

A judge said no to PG&E which was trying to wiggle its way out of a criminal case connected to the 2019 Kincade wildfire. The Sonoma County DA is suing the utility giant and a judge said no to the utility’s procedural move trying to get 25 of the 33 criminal charges tossed. The charges all stay and the company will have to enter pleas in the case next month. The company is no stranger to criminal complaints, there was that San Bruno explosion over a decade ago and of course the Northern Calif. fires in 2017 & 18 which triggered the utility company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Kincade fire erupted in Oct. of 2019 in The Geysers geothermal region and destroyed 174 homes and almost 200 other buildings, including a winery.

A group put together a couple of years ago to buy and operate a hydro-electric plant PG&E no longer wanted in Mendocino County is asking federal regulators for more time for the project. The Potter Valley Project, a hydroelectric plant diverting water from the Eel River into the Russian River from Lake Mendocino. The group wants until May of next year so it can look at how the project would work within a comprehensive plan to manage the crises of fisheries and water supply reliability in the Eel and Russian River Basins during the historic drought. The group says they will do their due diligence during the extension of time to evaluate the so-called Two Basin Solution.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors is having an online public workshop on redistricting. The meeting online via the county’s YouTube page is at 1:30 p.m. on election day so they can hear from the Advisory Redistricting Commission. They want input from the public on communities of interest and potential district boundaries.

A man from New York already in trouble with police twice before for victimizing locals is going to prison. 24 year old John Louis Cea of Long Island had been found guilty in July for felony grand theft of over $950, and for a separate crime of robbery in the second degree. He’s going to prison in Calif. for five and a half years. He was in Ukiah last fall and swiped $32,000 from an elderly businessman fixing a private ATM in a local cannabis business. Cea took money out of the man’s car and six weeks later returned to the area to steal marijuana. Police say he met a couple convincing them to meet him at a Burger King in Willits and he forcibly stole 2 pounds of weed from the pair. He was chased by cops and crashed, but he got away to New York. He was later tracked down, arrested and extradited.

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